Friday, July 31, 2015

The Blood Moons: Celestial Signs of the Second Coming

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

What does the Bible actually have to say about celestial signs?

Ever since 2008 when a pastor from Tacoma, Washington by the name of Mark Biltz announced that he had discovered an astronomical phenomenon that might point to the date of the Lord's return, there has been much hoopla over what he calls the Blood Moon phenomenon. The resulting Blood Moon mania has simply swept Christendom over the past few years, causing some to conclude that a significant prophetic event will befall the world in September 2015.

Dr. David Reagan and I will discuss this theory and answer the question above on our latest Christ in Prophecy television episode. Watch below or click an icon above for a mp3 and transcript.



Celestial Signs

Dr. Reagan: We need to emphasize the point that the Bible does teach that there are signs that can occur in the heavens that can have some spiritual significance. In fact, the Bible begins by stating that, doesn't it?

Nathan Jones: Yes, the Bible does frequently talk about signs in the skies. Because these phenomenon have and will occur, people are as a result taking these Blood Moons really seriously. Let's look Genesis 1:14, "And God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. And let them serve as signs to mark seasons, and days and years.'"

Dr. Reagan: That was the fourth day of Creation. God put the lights in the heavens and He said that they are there to be signs as well as seasons for us. So, there are celestial signs God provides. For example, the one that comes to mind immediately would be the special star in the heavens that led the Magi all the way from Iran down to Bethlehem. That would be a special sign in the heavens.

Nathan Jones: The Star of Bethlehem, exactly.

Dr. Reagan: Or, I think of the special sign that occurred when Jesus was crucified. There was a total eclipse and total darkness followed by a great earthquake. Those are signs from the heavens. Plus, Jesus told us that we are to watch for signs in the end times, and a great variety of them are signs that come from the heavens.

I am reading from Luke 21:24 where it says, "They will fall by the edge of the sword and will be led captive into all the nations and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles." Jesus is talking about the Jews here. Then in verse 25 He says, "And there will signs in the sun, and moon, and stars and upon the earth dismay among nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves." Now He's talking about the Second Coming of Jesus in particular. So, at the Second Coming of Jesus, there's going to be some spectacular signs in the heavens. This is also mentioned in a number of places in the Bible.

Therefore, it's not crazy to say, "Let us look at a particular sign" or "Here is a sign that is going to occur and maybe something is going to occur as a result of that sign, but it's just that this particular sign is not something that has never occurred before. Rather, it is something that has occurred in the past."

But, again, only one Feast Tetrad was spot on out of eight times. Only one was an omen of something great that was going to occur in Israel.


Feast Tetrads

Nathan Jones: With all the Blood Moon mania going on as of late, there must be something major happening related to the Jewish people. What is going on right now that would concern a Feast Tetrad?

Dr. Reagan: We are indeed in the midst of a Feast Tetrad, one that Pastor Mark Biltz has been talking about. It is the only tetrad falling on Jewish feasts that is going to occur in this century, according to the calculations of NASA. That's the reason that Biltz is putting so much emphasis upon this particular tetrad.

As a reminder, a tetrad is when we have four total lunar eclipses, or Blood Moons, in a row over a period of two years. A Feast Tetrad is when you have a tetrad that falls on Jewish feasts.

We are in the midst of a Feast Tetrad right now, falling in 2014-2015. The first total lunar eclipse started in April 15, 2014 on the Feast of Passover. The second one was on October 8, 2014. The third one has already occurred on April 4, 2015 of this year on the Feast of Passover. The final one of the four Blood Moons is supposed to occur on September 28, 2015 at the Feast of Tabernacles.

Right now we are on the very threshold of the fourth Blood Moon in this Feast Tetrad. That's the reason that there's this great expectation that something very significant is going to occur in either Israel or in the whole world.

You've got to keep in mind that when this Blood Moon Theory was first discovered by Mark Biltz, there was a lot of talk that this tetrad pointed to the Second Coming of Jesus. People have backed away from that claim, and most have, and now are talking instead about it just being a major event that will occur in Israel. Certainly this tetrad is not pointing to the Second Coming of Jesus.

Nathan Jones: Is that your conclusion then that those who are saying this tetrad is going to bring about the Second Coming of Jesus are incorrect?

Dr. Reagan: Right, no, I don't think this tetrad is marking the Second Coming at all. You could give us some reasons why this tetrad is not going to be the Second Coming.

Nathan Jones: I think those who look at this tetrad being significant to the Second Coming of Jesus either put the Rapture at the Second Coming, or they don't believe in any Rapture at all.

For the Second Coming of Jesus to happen, you'd have to have seven years of Tribulation upon this earth. Then you have all the events of the Tribulation that must occur. You have to have the Rapture of the Church happen before the Tribulation. You have to have the Antichrist rising into becoming the one-world leader. You have to have God's 21 judgments fall upon the world. You'd have to have seven years pass in order to have Jesus Christ return. There are a tremendous number of events that have to happen before the return of Jesus Christ. Therefore, there's no way that Jesus is going to return by September of 2015, unless it's the Rapture of the Church, and that is a whole separate event from the Second Coming.

Dr. Reagan: Furthermore, I think we need to emphasize the fact that the Bible teaches over and over that we cannot know the date of the Lord's return.

Nathan Jones: No, not at all according to Jesus in Matthew 24:36,44.

Dr. Reagan: We can know the general season, because we are given signs to watch out for, but we cannot know the date of the Lord's return. In fact, when Mark Biltz first came up with this concept, he was challenged on that point. He very strongly defended the idea of date-setting because of the fact that the Feast of Tabernacles had a rather indecisive date and people didn't know for sure when it would exactly occur. Biltz gave many, many arguments to support the fact that you really could know the general date. Later on, Biltz backed off that claim and he hasn't emphasized that in his recent teachings. But, there are still some people who think that maybe this September 28th could be the date of the Lord's return.

Nathan Jones: This teaching came out of the Hebrew Roots Movement though, right?

Dr. Reagan: Yes, it did. It came out of the Hebrew Roots Movement which unfortunately is a Judaizing movement trying to get Christians to live under the Mosaic Law.

Sure, it is legitimate to look out for signs in the heavens, but this tetrad is a sign that has no validity in the past except for one time — the Six Day War — and that war actually fell in the middle of the tetrad. We've got one Feast Tetrad out of eight that has any significance. Again, that's not very good odds.

There is a reason why people associate this year's total lunar eclipse with the Second Coming, and it's a very good reason. Not only does Luke 21:24 tell us there are going to be supernatural phenomenon in the heavens, but one of the greatest of passages on celestial signs is found over in the Minor Prophets, and that's in the book of Joel. In Joel 2:30 the prophet makes a very interesting comment. God is speaking there about the Second Coming of the Messiah. He says, "I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth: blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes." So, very definitely supernatural phenomenon in the heavens, but this passage is not talking about the Feast Tetrads. Joel is talking about a supernatural event. Joel is not referring to some natural phenomenon. And why is that? Because it is impossible for there to be a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse at the same time.

Nathan Jones: "Why is that?" some might ask. Well, you need sunlight to create a shadow on the moon.

Dr. Reagan: Well, yes, it's just not possible to black out the sun and still have a lunar eclipse. The result is that Joel has to be describing a supernatural phenomenon which God Himself orchestrates and produces in the heavens during the Second Coming of Jesus. It's not some natural phenomenon that has occurred in the past and is going to continue to occur again in the future. We need to keep that in mind at least with regard to the idea of some sort of natural phenomenon being a sign of the end times. This reference in Joel to the Second Coming is supernatural in nature.

I think that your point is very important concerning whether this tetrad could be pointing to the Second Coming of Jesus. We've got to have a literal interpretation of the Bible first off, which tells us the world will face a period of seven years called the Tribulation that has to occur before Jesus' Second Coming.

When this point was first brought out after Biltz first proposed his theory, people immediately responded by saying, "Hey, Mark, there has to be a seven-year period of Tribulation." He responded like, "Well, the Second Coming could happen because this is January of 2008. The Tribulation then could begin in September or the fall of 2008, so count forward seven years and you get 2015."

Nathan Jones: There you go. The time has passed, so not anymore could we fit in the Tribulation.

Dr. Reagan: Biltz even put an article to that effect on his website. Later on, when the Tribulation did not begin, he backed off that and began to talk more in terms about this tetrad being some major event that would occur in Israel. One thing I would point out is that you are not taking any big risks whatsoever if you say in the future in this two-year period of time from 2014-2015 something important is going to happen in Israel.

Nathan Jones: Every day something important happens in Israel!

Dr. Reagan: Important things are happening there all time, and even more so now than ever before because all of end time prophecy focusing upon Israel. The whole world is focusing on Israel. The Bible like in Zechariah says that in the end times the whole world is going to come against Israel, and that includes the United States. That's just what we are seeing today. More and more major events are going to occur in Israel. So, nobody takes a chance if they claim, "I say to you in this two year period of time in the future something important is going to happen in Israel." I agree! Something important will happen in Israel. So, again, there's really no big risk here of saying something big is going to happen and it will happen to fall on a feast day.


In the third segment of our study of the Blood Moon phenomenon, Dr. Reagan and I will look at other sensationalist prophecies that of course didn't come true.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Blood Moons: Tetrads Explained

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

What in the world is a Blood Moon?

Ever since 2008 when a pastor from Tacoma, Washington by the name of Mark Biltz announced that he had discovered an astronomical phenomenon that might point to the date of the Lord's return, there has been much hoopla over what he calls the Blood Moon phenomenon. The resulting Blood Moon mania has simply swept Christendom over the past few years, causing some to conclude that a significant prophetic event will befall the world in September 2015.

Dr. David Reagan and I will discuss this theory and answer the question above on our latest Christ in Prophecy television episode. Watch below or click an icon above for a mp3 and transcript.



Super-Rare Celestial Event

Nathan Jones: A Blood Moon is a complete lunar eclipse. The earth passes between the sun and the moon and the shadow of the earth passes across the moon. The light from the sun bends around the atmosphere of the earth to give the moon a reddish color like blood.

Dr. Reagan: So not all lunar eclipses are full? There's partial eclipses and also total eclipses? We are talking here about total eclipses that cause the moon to appear red?

Nathan Jones: Correct.

Dr. Reagan: Alright, now how rare is this?

Nathan Jones: During the 20th Century, for example, there were 229 lunar eclipses, but in total only 81 totally covered the moon. In the 21st Century, there are going to be 228 lunar eclipses, and of those 85 will be total eclipses.

Dr. Reagan: Total eclipses will be 85. There is something even more rare than that, I understand. It is what's called a tetrad. What in the world is a tetrad?

Nathan Jones: A tetrad is four total lunar eclipses that occur over the course of two years.

Dr. Reagan: Four over the course of two years, okay. How often does that occur?

Nathan Jones: Very rare. There's only been 87 tetrads since the time of Christ. In this century alone there will be eight tetrads. In some centuries there are never any at all.

Dr. Reagan: With only 87 tetrads since the time of Christ, we are talking about something very, very rare?

Nathan Jones: Yes, a tetrad is very rare.

Dr. Reagan: There's something even rarer, and that's what Mark Biltz discovered. That's what I call the Feast Tetrads. What is that?

Nathan Jones: That's when the Jewish feasts actually fall on the same dates as those four total lunar eclipses. We're talking about the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Dr. Reagan: I think there was a Feast Tetrad in 1967-1968?

Nathan Jones: Yes. Passover happened on April 24, 1967. There was a Blood Moon on that day. Then on Tabernacles of October 18, 1967 another Blood Moon occurred. Then the next year a total lunar eclipse happened on Passover again on April 13, 1968, and then on Tabernacles on October 6, 1968.

Dr. Reagan: That's four Blood Moons occurring over a period of two years and they all fell on the Jewish feasts of Passover and Tabernacles.

Nathan Jones: Super rare! Supposedly there's been only eight since Jesus.


Three Tetrads

Dr. Reagan: The crucial point here is that Mark Biltz argues that these particular Feast Tetrads tend to be omens, or prophecies, or harbingers of major events that are going to occur in Israel. He gives us some examples. What three examples does he really focus on?

Nathan Jones: Biltz focuses on three example and the eighth tetrad in particular.

One example of a Feast Tetrad supposedly occurred in 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella expelled all the Jews out of Spain. The second one was 1948 when the Jewish State was created. The third is attributed to 1967 during the Six Day War.

Dr. Reagan: On the surface those events sound very, very, important for those are three of the major events in Jewish history: 1) when the Jews were expelled from Spain, 2) when the nation of Israel was re-established and, 3) when the Six Day War occurred.

But, there is a problem here, and the problem is that the first one of those is not legitimate because the Blood Moon Feast Tetrad occurred after the event. While the Jews were expelled in 1492, the tetrad didn't occur until 1493 and 1494. Therefore, the Feast Tetrad could not have been a harbinger, or a prophecy, or an omen beforehand of any kind for the Jewish people.

Nathan Jones: Yes, this Feast Tetrad totally missed by a full year.

Dr. Reagan: Totally missed! The second Feast Tetrad Biltz pointed to has to do with the re-establishment of the State of Israel which occurred on May 14, 1948. But again, the Feast Tetrad occurred a year later. It occurred in 1949-1950 and so again it was no harbinger or prophecy.

Nathan Jones: Yes, the Feast Tetrad missed the event again by a whole year!

Dr. Reagan: So, out of the eight of these Feast Tetrads that have occurred since the time of Christ, there has been only one that would serve as a prophecy, or an omen, or a harbinger of something great that was going to happen in Israel. That was the Six Day War in 1967, because the Feast Tetrad actually happened on 1967-1968. The war really occurred after the first Blood Moon of that tetrad in 1967.

Nathan Jones: And, of the eight Feast Tetrads, the first five fell on nothing of significance for the Jewish people.

Dr. Reagan: Nothing of significance — whatsoever! One out of eight is not very good odds.

Nathan Jones: I wouldn't bet on them. No, I wouldn't.


In the second segment of our study of the Blood Moon phenomenon, Dr. Reagan and I will look at what the Bible actually has to say about celestial signs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Coming Psalm 83 War: Future Hope

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Knowing prophetic wars are around the corner, how can Christians have hope for the future?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will discuss the end times war found in Psalm 83.

The Truth Will Set You Free

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Hope for the Future

Nathan Jones: One of the best parts about studying Bible prophecy, besides getting to know God better and His plan, is to alleviate fear and to give us hope. When you know what is coming down the road, and you know there are some wonderful events coming down that God has promised, we learn that God always keeps His promises. Knowing that gives us hope for the future.

Without hope people worry all the time. The say, "Oh, man, the future looks terrible! There is going to be so much disaster and destruction." Certainly, some of that is in play, but we know the big picture when we study Bible prophecy. The big picture is that Jesus wins! Therefore, those who believe in Jesus Christ win as well. One day we will live in peace and righteousness and justice in Christ's Kingdom for 1,000 years and then on into the eternal state. Evil is defeated and destroyed and out of here. That's all something to be excited about!

Vic Batista: I just want to jump and cheer! People often wonder how I can teach Bible prophecy with a smile. They believe prophecy is all gloom and doom. No, it is not all gloom and doom. I smile because I know what the Bible says and so are not fearful of the future. As a matter of fact, we look forward to the wonderful promises that God has in store for us.

Nathan Jones: Amen, that is so true! Yes, there is gloom and doom in prophetic events. There is destruction. But, that is the process that has to happen in order to destroy evil and defeat Satan. The end result will be a remnant of people all throughout human history who have put their faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ. Those are who God wants to live with forever in His home in Heaven, also called the New Jerusalem. The reason why we were created s to have fellowship with God forever. Yes, we need to get through these birth pains as Jesus called them before we get to the actual birth.

Vic Batista: Absolutely. Definitely in the future you and I need talk about the New Jerusalem so that people can learn about what awaits us.

Nathan Jones: Exactly, because there's a lot of hope with Bible prophecy. Yes, there are tremendous events described in the Bible about the terrible days ahead, but God has a purpose for all those trials. God has given us that information, the foreknowledge, because He wants us to know what horrors are ahead so that we put our faith and trust in Him. We need to accept Jesus as Savior and so know that we will participate in the rapture of the Church. We will be out of here and protected by God before God releases His wrath upon the world, because our Heavenly Father always protects those He loves.

Vic Batista: People also need to understand that the judgments that are coming are often times against those who are against God, those who disobey God. That is why it says in Revelation 9:20, "But the rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. They did not repent of their murders and their sorceries or their sexual immorality, or their thefts." We find that this wrath and judgment is not against those who trust in Christ, but on those who are rejecting God.

Nathan Jones: Exactly. God's wrath is for those who are disobedient. In other words, those who continue to rebel against God. Those who call evil good and good evil. They are the ones who'll face the wrath of God. God's wrath is not for those who have accepted Jesus as Savior. We are promised in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 the Rapture of the Church — the taking up of the believers in Christ off this planet before God's wrath comes down upon it. That is what wrath truly is. It is what Hell is — the final judgment. These judgments are for those who want God to leave them alone. They don't want anything to do with their Creator and they want to live their life on their own. God acquiesces. He steps back. But, they still live under His wrath, as John 3:36 says. God's wrath is a sentence to Hell for their rebellion. Hell is punishment for rebellion against God.

Vic Batista: Hell is only right because if God is a just God He will have to punish sin.

Nathan Jones: You wouldn't want the child molester, the rapist, the crook that robbed your house, to not see justice? We are like them; all of us! We are sinners, too.

People tend to have so much trouble dealing with the reality that we are all enemies of God. We have all sinned against Him. We all hate Him. We have all rebelled against Him. We have broken His law continually. But, God doesn't want to lose all of humanity, so He sent His own Son, His perfect Son Jesus Christ, to die in our place and take God's wrath upon Him. When we put our faith and trust in Jesus, the wrath of God moves off of us and it moved onto His Son while He was on the cross. Once that happens, when God looks at us, He sees us as sinless and holy because of Jesus Christ. We are forgiven, and we don't have the punishment of Hell anymore. We can grab hold of that promise of the Rapture of the Church.

Vic Batista: What a wonderful way of encouraging people! There is hope. God loves you. Our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ will have eternal life.

Today is the day of salvation! We never know just how much time we have left. So, therefore, this is the day that God has given us to repent and turn from our sins and turn to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That's why the Bible says in John 3:16 that "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son. And that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."

Place your trust in Jesus Christ. He is coming very, very soon.

Nathan Jones: Take to heart what we have been talking about. You can see in the news every day the hatred against Israel, for the nations surrounding Israel want to destroy her. Bible prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes! That means Jesus is coming soon. So ask yourself, "Are you ready?"


In the seventh segment of our survey of the Psalm 83 War, Vic and I will look more at Israel's enemies' insidious plan.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Coming Psalm 83 War: Christian Betrayal

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Why are some churches betraying the Jewish people?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will discuss the end times war found in Psalm 83.

The Truth Will Set You Free

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The Church's Betrayal

Vic Batista: I remember before I first became a Christian I had a dislike for the Jewish people, but never really understood why. Now I know that the Enemy influences so many so they'll have a prejudice against God's people. Therefore, we need to be careful because Antisemitism is inspired by Satan's demonic influence. Thank God when I was born again and I began to read the Bible the Holy Spirit began to show me the plan that God has for the Jewish people and how much He loves them. It really changed my perspective toward the Jewish people.

Nathan Jones: Praise the Lord! We are definitely seeing many churches and church leaders giving up their traditional support of Israel and turning against the Jewish people and supporting the Palestinians. The Palestinians are the descendants of Israel's enemies. How many churches are now siding against God's people? Can you believe Christians actually are hating God's people. When I use the term "God's people" obviously the Church, those who believe in Jesus as Savior, are God's people as well. But, God has never said that He has gotten rid of the Jewish people as His people as well.

Many of the Jews of today have turned on God and they don't believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, 85% of the Jewish people in the world are Secular Humanists. They don't believe in God whatsoever. And yet, God has promised that one day a remnant — a third of the Jewish people — by the end of the Tribulation will accept God and Jesus as Savior. So, we are going to see the Jewish people transformed from Secular Humanists to Messiah followers of Jesus Christ, Yeshua Hamashiach. One day a Jewish remnant are going to follow Jesus.

That the Jewish people will one day be saved, that's another reason why Satan hates them. Satan wants to thwart God's plan. To accomplish that goal, he must destroy the Jewish people. I think that hatred that Satan has is emanating and effecting the whole world to hate Israel unlike any other country on the planet.

Vic Batista: God is not through with His people. Need proof? That is what we read in Romans 11 in Paul's writing. He wrote, "I say, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, or the tribe of Benjamin." God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. I believe another ploy of the Enemy is to make people think that God is over and done with the Jewish people and that the Church has taken over, right?

Nathan Jones: Exactly. Romans 9-11 are fantastic chapters to read about God's will for the Jewish people, though they are three of the chapters most churches today avoid. Churches do so because they believe the Jewish people are done in God's plan. He didn't destroy them completely when the Romans destroyed Israel in 70 AD. God cast them aside and He put His focus on the Gentile world to give them with the Gospel.

There is a time coming when the Gentile world and those Jews who have accepted Jesus as Savior will be raptured off this planet. Believing Gentile and Jew alike will be taken away before this time of Jacob's trouble, this Tribulation period that's coming. One of the reasons for this Tribulation and for the end time wars come against Israel is to get the Jewish people on their knees and get them to give up their Secular Humanism and turn to God and His Son, Jesus Christ, at Savior.

Vic Batista: Excellent point, Nathan! We know that those people who believe that God no longer loves the Jews clearly would have tear out those chapters in Romans, right?

Nathan Jones: They would have to. It is scary especially among the liberal denominations how they will study through Romans, but they will skip right over Romans 9-11 as though these chapters didn't even exist. That is tragic because the Church has had such a strong influence in our country traditionally in supporting Israel. Israel has received a lot of support from the United States because of our Judeo-Christian roots. But, as we continually and very quickly abandon our Judeo-Christian roots, we are seeing that the United States politics are turn against Israel. We are seeing churches as they become more liberal and apostate turning against Israel. This hatred that Satan has for the Jews is permeating both Christians and non-Christians alike for the purpose of destroying Israel.

This Antisemitism then is the setting for Psalm 83, where we see the beginning of a coalition of nations that want Israel destroyed. Israel has repelled quite a number of attacks from these nations. As soon as they became a nation in 1948, the infant nation repelled the five strong nations surrounding them. In 1967, Israel not only repelled these hostile neighbors again, but took a lot of what is now called the Occupied Territory, the land that originally the UN promised in the Balfour Declaration to Israel, so they can now better defend themselves.

The world and now sadly many churches want the nation of Israel destroyed. The result, when we look at some of the end time wars, three of them are against Israel. The Psalm 83 War is the first between Israel and the nations directly surrounding Israel. The Ezekiel 38 & 39 War is next and contains an outer ring of Islamic Nations and Russia trying to destroy Israel, but fail. By the end of the seven-year Tribulation at Armageddon, finally all the nations of the world come against Israel in the attempt to try to destroy her.

Vic Batista: Once again we see God's hand protecting the Jewish people. God's hand is upon all these events. That is believers in Christ should not fear, because we know what is coming. We also know where our foundation lies, right?

Nathan Jones: Exactly! That's an excellent point.


In the sixth segment of our survey of the Psalm 83 War, Vic and I will look at how among all this turmoil Christians can have hope for the future.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Coming Psalm 83 War: Confederacy of Schemers

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Who are the Psalm 83 nations planning Israel's destruction?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will discuss the end times war found in Psalm 83.

The Truth Will Set You Free

Play MP3


Antisemitism on the Rise

Vic Batista: Nathan, in the last segment you took us through Psalm 83:1-4. Could you recap?

Nathan Jones: Asaph was the author of this Psalm, or song. He was one of King David's prophets and musicians. Asaph was a seer and he could see as the Lord gave him prophecy about the future. What he prophesied in Psalm 83 he wrote in song format, though we don't have the music today.

"Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.'"

Vic Batista: When we look at verse 4 we hear those very words spoken frequently by those in Islam and to some extent what we are hearing happening in the United States of America. Antisemitism is going to increase to the point to where these Psalm 83 nations want to come and destroy Israel. That is really the focal point, right?

Nathan Jones: Exactly! The enemies that surround Israel are what we are talking about — Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza and Egypt. Those are the nations that want to destroy Israel. They are the traditional enemies of Israel all the way back to Joshua's time period.

It was prophesied that Israel would have to deal with these nations, and certainly over time, they've had many wars with Israel, but Israel never subjugated the nations around them. Today we are reading about this prophecy that Israel's enemies want to destroy them as a nation, but Israel hasn't been a nation since 70 AD. The Roman's destroyed Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews. The Jewish people wandered without a homeland for almost 2,000 years. Finally, in May of 1948, Israel became a nation again. So, all of a sudden Bible prophecy scholars are seriously looking at Psalm 83 because Israel is a nation once again.

Today we bear witness to the Islamic hatred of Israel. It's interesting that Israel's enemies historically in the Old Testament were scattered and divided. Now, they are all united by Islam, by a religion, that consistently wants to destroy Israel. Islamic leaders make statements all the time about the destruction of Israel. They create intifadas where they try to get the Arab people in Israel to rise up against the Jewish people living there. Iran is desperate to make a nuclear weapon which the Ayatollahs aren't even hiding anymore the fact that they want to use it to destroy Israel. ISIS' goal is to not only march through Iraq and Syria, but then through Jordan and conquer Israel. The UN makes resolution after resolution against Israel. They too want to destroy Israel. So, there is certainly a satanic hatred just burning with uncontrolled rage towards Israel right now.

Vic Batista: That's why I encourage Christians to pray for Israel. These are God's chosen people. God still loves them, though His focus has been on the Church for the last 2,000 years. It's amazing to me what Satan puts into the heart of man, because he is really the one who is behind all this hatred of God's people.

Nathan Jones: Ephesians 6:12 tells us that, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." And so, behind all our world governments there are satanic principalities and powers working behind the scenes. There is a spiritual warfare going on behind this global rise in Antisemitism.

Satan has always hated the Jews. He hates the Jews because God made promises to the world which through them would bring the blessing of His Messiah. Jesus came from the Jewish people. The Jewish people also provided the Bible. God promised the Jewish people that a remnant of them would one day be saved and they would become a priestly people during this Millennial Kingdom, which is still yet to come. Satan believes that if he can destroy the Jewish people, he can thwart God's plan. We know that Satan will never be victorious in that goal. Right now, though, Israel has got to go through quite a refining fire as the nations surrounding them want them destroyed. That is where Psalm 83's prophecy comes into play.


The Confederacy of Schemers

Nathan Jones: In verse 4, we're left with no doubt that these nations who are against Israel are gathering together to decide how to destroy Israel. Their purpose is to make Israel "remembered no more." The only way to accomplish that is the complete genocide of the Jewish people, to utter destroy the Jewish people.

Now we get to Psalm 83:5-8 which says:

"For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against you: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot."

That list of nations can be kind of confusing because Psalm 83 was written in 1,000 BC, so 3,000 years ago. These are the names of the nations that surrounded Israel at that time, but they have modern counterparts today. It is interesting how we can turn on the news and watch and see these very same nations today want Israel destroyed.

When Psalm 83 talks about the tents of Edom, that is the Palestinians who are the descendants of the Edomites. They're the Palestinians and those who dwelled in Southern Jordan at the time.

Concerning the Ishmaelites, Ismael was the father of the Arabs, so the passage is talking about the Arabian nations.

Moab is also the Palestinian descendants of today who lived in central Jordan at the time.

The Hagrites, or the Hagarenes, is another name from this passage. There's a little debate over this reference, but many Bible prophecy scholars believe their the Egyptians.

Gebal is Hezbollah which occupies northern Lebanon. Ammon are again the Palestinian descendants who once covered the northern Jordan area. Amalek was also the Arabs, and they are the ones who now live in the Sinai Peninsula. Philistia, the Philistines, is Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Tyre is up north, and they today are Hezbollah from southern Lebanon. Assyria is the Assyrians who once covered northern Iraq which pretty much covers the land that ISIS is taking over right now.

Vic Batista: All those nations surround Israel?

Nathan Jones: Yes, they do. And, these nations in Psalm 83 are not prophesies as the nations that Ezekiel 38 & 39 are prophesying about. The Gog & Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39 contain Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya and Sudan and all those 'Stan nations. Psalm 83 are not mentioning those. It also is not talking about Armageddon, which covers all the nations of the world against Israel. Psalm 83 particularly names the countries that directly border Israel.

Vic Batista: Excellent point! This is exactly how the world is lining up today.

I noticed two things, Nathan, when you were reading verse 5 specifically. "For they have consulted together with one consent and they have formed a confederacy against you." We see how the enemy, Satan, is bringing all these nations together to form a confederacy all united in one consent to destroy Israel.

Nathan Jones: Surely people are wondering just how could the nations surrounding Israel join together. Until Islam, these nations were totally separate and they did not get along well. They would frequently attack each other. But, then when the religion of Islam conquered the Middle East, it united the people with a common religion. Yes, there is infighting in that religion, especially between the Sunnis and the Shiites, but overall as a religion they agree on one major thing — death to the Jews!


In the fifth segment of our survey of the Psalm 83 War, Vic and I will look at why the Church is betraying Israel.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Coming Psalm 83 War: Crafty Counsel

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

What nations comprise the inner ring of countries planning Israel's destruction?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will discuss the end times war found in Psalm 83.

The Truth Will Set You Free

Play MP3


The Inner Ring

Vic Batista: Related to the Ezekiel 38 & 39 War, there is another end times war — the Psalm 83 War. Any thoughts on the Psalm 83 War in terms of timing?

Nathan Jones: One of the nine prophetic end time wars is the Psalm 83 War. I believe that it the first in the series of nine prophetic wars. The Psalm 83 War comes of course from the Psalms, which were written back in 1,000 BC, so we are talking about 3,000 years ago when this prophecy was written.

Vic Batista: Amazing!

Nathan Jones: Psalm 83 was written by Asaph the Seer. He was not only a musical leader for King David, but he was also a prophet, a seer. He prophesied a time when Israel would have to subjugate the nations surrounding them.

Throughout history, Israel has never subjugated all the nations that have surrounding them. Bible scholars have wondered why is that the case? We read about Ezekiel 38 & 39 where those now-Islamic nations are attacking Israel. With Israel at the center, these nations form an outer ring of nations. But, the inner ring of nations are missing. The nations that directly border Israel cannot be found in the Gog & Magog War.

When I say those bordering nations, I'm referring to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Gaza — those nations which are directly bordering Israel. They too hate Israel with a passion. They want to see Israel destroyed. Those nations are left out of the very detailed description of nations in the Ezekiel 39 & 39, so therefore it tells us that this Psalm 83 War must happen before the Ezekiel 38 & 39 War because those nations aren't in play against Israel when Russia comes down to destroy Israel. Those bordering nations hate Israel, and so they would definitely be part of any coalition coming against Israel. And yet, they are not mentioned in Ezekiel 38 & 39. We then know that there must be a Psalm 83 War before the Gog & Magog War.


Asaph the Seer

Vic Batista: Excellent point! Let's read through Psalm 83 and look at these wondrous prophetic events. As we look at Psalm 83, Nathan, can you start out there in that passage and let us know what exactly we looking at?

Nathan Jones: Psalm 83 is a psalm, a song, by Asaph. When you read through the Psalms, remember they were actually sung as songs. The music was lost over the centuries, so when we read the Psalms, they kind of read funny because they're a translation from Hebrew. Their songs probably rhymed and made a lot more sense in Hebrew.

Psalm 83 was a song of Asaph, and we know from other psalms that Asaph wrote that he was a prophet. He was actually called a seer. Because Asaph was a prophet, God would let him see into the future, and so his songs were those prophecies.


Crafty Counsel

Psalm 83:1-4 reads in the New King James:

"Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.'"

Vic Batista: That right there has a lot to say with what you were just sharing in terms of Israel's enemies.

Nathan Jones: This passage says that the enemies of Israel have decided that they want to come together to plan on destroying Israel as a nation. We have to remember that Israel hadn't been a nation since the year 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and Israel. The Romans totally destroyed the Temple and scattered the Jewish people all across the earth. Israel hasn't been a nation for almost 2,000 years.

But, here we read this end time prophecy and Israel is a nation once again. In May 1948, Israel became a nation again. People are starting to take some serious consideration about this prophecy because to have these end time wars against Israel as a nation there has to be a nation. Now Israel is a nation again. Wow!

Asaph is introducing the enemies of Israel. You can imagine the leaders of Israel's enemies hiding in a dark room conspiring about the destruction of Israel. That is the setting of Psalm 83.

Vic Batista: That's a good way to introduce the Psalm 83 War. This is an incredible prophecy unraveling right before our very eyes. Everything just lines up wonderfully with what it going on today and what we see is going to transpire in the near future.

Nathan, as we look at these prophecies we believe that it shows that time is running out, especially for anyone who doesn't have a relationship with the Lord. We don't know when these windows of opportunity are going to close, right?

Nathan Jones: Exactly. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, could come back at any moment to rapture His Church — to take those who believe in Him as Savior off this planet — proceeding seven of the worse years in all of human history. The Bible calls that coming terrible time the Tribulation. It's what Jeremiah 30:7 calls the time of Jacob's trouble.

We don't know when Jesus will come back, so it is very important that we now give our lives to Jesus Christ. Pray in your heart something like, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." Jesus promised to forgive us of our sins when in repentance we put our faith and trust in Him. When we do, He'll give us a new life, the hope of the Rapture of the Church, and living forever with Him in Heaven.

Vic Batista: The Lord loves you and He has a plan for your life. Once saved from your sins and the judgment of Hell, God's Holy Spirit will have moved inside of you. If you were to die today, you would have eternal life because you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ. That is Good News!


In the fourth segment of our survey of the Psalm 83 War, Vic and I will look at the increasing rise in Antisemitism.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Coming Psalm 83 War: Moral Reversal

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Is there a moral reversal going on in Western society?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will discuss the end times war found in Psalm 83.

The Truth Will Set You Free

Play MP3


The Moral Reversal of Society

Vic Batista: Nathan, I pray for our politicians to understand what the Bible foretells so they can maybe make better decisions.

Nathan Jones: I hope so. When a country fears God and obeys His commands and reads His Word, then law makes sense. We have a sound foundation for judicial decisions. The world then makes sense. But, when you destroy the biblical foundation, then the judges rule whatever they feel like and government runs based on popularity polls and not the Word of God. We make bad decisions when it comes to our treatment of Israel and our own people. Persecution of Christians starts coming as well. We are certainly seeing more persecution of Christians in this country. The whole nation starts unraveling. By cutting God out of our system, we are seeing our nation unravel. But, if we turn to God and the Bible, God's Word will give us an accurate view on how to handle world politics.

Vic Batista: You hit on a very good point. We must turn to God. Everything important to life begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ. All of what we are seeing happening is because people are void of a relationship with Jesus, and so therefore the decisions they are making, whether they are personal or in government, we see the disastrous effects of them.

Nathan Jones: Exactly! Unfortunately, good becomes evil and evil becomes good in society's mindset, because they don't have the Bible to turn to. Without God in our lives, without the Holy Spirit directing us, our sin nature takes over and we want to do anything that will satiate the lust of our sin nature. That's when we start calling good evil and evil good. We are seeing that very reversal in society today. When people are marching all across the country in support of thugs who kill cops, we've got a problem here in this country.

Vic Batista: The Bible says that we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but our war is spiritual. Therefore, a lot of this societal angst is a ploy of the Enemy to shift our focus from what is really going on. The strategy is to keep us distracted by other things.


Satanic Anger

Vic Batista: Islam and the Gog & Magog War are going to come eventually, but in the end, we know that the Lord is going to destroy both Islam and all these coalition nations. Before their destruction, Ezekiel 38 & 39 also tells us about all those Islamic nations that surround Israel that are going to try to engulf in a sense the people of Israel?

Nathan Jones: Yes, there is a hatred of the Jews that goes beyond sound reasoning. Islam hates the Jewish people with a passion. This push for a Palestinian State by those very same people who were actually the invaders of Israel back in 1948 and then were left behind by their countries and not allowed to go back to Syria and Jordan, these are the people who are calling themselves Palestinians. In truth, the Palestinians are really Syrians.

The Palestinians are the ones who want to push for a country within Israel's borders. They know that if they can get Israel back to its pre-1967 borders that Israel would become defenseless. Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv would only be about nine miles away from the Palestinian State, an easy target where the Palestinians could shoot down Israel's planes with missiles. Israel would become defenseless. That the Palestinians real strategy behind the call for a Palestinian state.

If you remember former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he was before the current President Rouhani, all the time Ahmadinejad was declaring that he should wipe Israel off the map. The whole world is focused on Iran building a nuclear weapon. The leaders of Iran, the Ayatollahs, on a daily basis say they plan on destroying Israel. And so, we know that Islam wants to destroy Israel, because just like you said, it is principalities and satanic powers behind these events.

Satan hates the Jewish people and he wants them destroyed. If he feels he can destroy them, then he can thwart Jesus' return.

Vic Batista: That is why I think it is so good to study Bible prophecy. When we do, we begin to get a glimpse into what is really going to happen and how things are going to end up. We see the world players are lining up, and the prophetic events are lining up, right before our eyes.


In the third segment of our survey of the Psalm 83 War, Vic and I will look at the "crafty counsel" of those who want Israel destroyed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Coming Psalm 83 War: Islam Rising

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Will the rise of Islam bring about increasing warfare?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will discuss the end times war found in Psalm 83.

The Truth Will Set You Free

Play MP3


Increasing Wars and Rumors of Wars

Vic Batista: Our topic this week is the Psalm 83 War. Some of the signs on the end times Jesus provided in Matthew 24:6-7 and also in Luke 21:9-10. One of those the Bible clearly tells will be wars and rumors of wars.

Nathan, I know you have some incredible statistics regarding all the wars that are going on today. Could you talk a little bit about those wars once again?

Nathan Jones: One of the ten signs that Jesus gave in Matthew 24 declared that there would be wars and rumors of wars. In other words, as we got closer and closer to the end times before Jesus' return, wars would increase both in frequency and intensity. Certainly we are experiencing that today. As a matter of fact, during the 20th Century the world experienced one of the greatest number of wars in all of history combined. The death toll was greater in that century than any other in history. About 160-187 million people were killed in all the wars of the 20th Century. That total is more than the total of all the wars that came before.

In the 21st Century, where we are 15 years into it, has seen just an incredible amount of death, especially from the Islamic wars as ISIS marches across the Middle East and with Russia invading the Ukraine and skirmishes breaking out all over the globe. Right now there are 38 wars and skirmishes happening! We are living in the middle of a tremendous time of warfare. It never seems to end, right? Our nations seems to just jump from one war to the next. There never seems to be a time of peace. The Lord had said that would be the case the closer we got to His return.

Vic Batista: Many people don't realize what's really going on around the world. Sometimes we only focus on certain parts of the news when they show you some fighting in a certain location, but when you look at it globally, the warfare is an astronomical number.

Nathan Jones: Correct. The news is very limited in its scope. I don't know what it is about international news in America, but we only focus on one of two things. You have to go and watch news from the BBC or other news outlets outside the United States via news feeds to actually see what's going on globally. There are a tremendous amount of skirmishes and wars happening all over the planet that never really make it into the news.

Vic Batista: Absolutely. The Bible talked about all these wars and rumors of wars in the last days, and of course we have seen some of those occurring even in our time. Even some end time wars could start in our time and go into the Tribulation. I'm talking about the Gog and Magog War of Ezekiel 38 & 39. Could you recap what will go on in that end times war?

Nathan Jones: Ezekiel 38 & 39 provides the most detailed description of an end time war, this being one of the nine prophetic wars that the Bible talks about. In this war it says a leader from Russia will create a coalition of Turkey, Iran, all those 'Stan nations such as Turkmenistan, Libya, Sudan, and other nations. They will join to form a coalition to destroy Israel. Russia's purpose is to plunder Israel and steal its wealth. Israel will be at a time of peace and unsuspecting of an attack according to Ezekiel 38.

When these nations come against Israel, the force will be so huge that even the mighty Israeli Defense Forces cannot possibly stand up against this coalition. As this coalition comes against Israel, that's when God steps back into the world when it comes to supernatural protection. God Himself destroys these armies with a tremendous earthquake. He sets them against each other. There is hail and there is fire. The Lord even burns the homelands of this countries that are coming against Israel.

The result of the Gog & Magog War from God stepping in will be the destruction of the power of Russia and Islam in the Middle East. Israel becomes a new super power in the world. Ezekiel 39 says that the Jewish people will know there is a God and they will all turn to Him, though not His Son Jesus Christ just yet, but definitely back to God.


The Rise and Fall of Islam

Vic Batista: We're seeing this Islamic movement towards Russia right now. It's crazy! And, right now, we are seeing Islamic mosque popping up everywhere around the world, even in my own neighborhood. I live in the Miami Garden's area in Florida and a few blocks away we see this new building being built, and it actually will be a Muslim mosque. Here in the US we are seeing mosques pop up everywhere.

Nathan Jones: Building mosques is almost being encouraged. Sadly with much of our liberal establishment, they believe in appeasement as a sound political strategy, but it is not. Remember just before World War II when Neville Chamberlain embraced Hitler and basically handed Poland and the Czech Republic over to him. Chamberlain was claiming that if Europe gave into Hitler's demands, the Germans would leave the UK alone. Hitler did not leave anybody alone! He continued to march across Europe and Russia and went on to bomb Great Britain.

Something like Chamberlain is happening today. Our politicians are trying to appease Islam, hoping they won't attack us. But, Islamic militants call the United States the Great Satan and they call Israel the Little Satan. They proudly proclaim that their goal is to destroy as commanded by the Koran all infidels, which are those who do not believe in Allah. There is no getting around their belief. It's foundational to their creed. The command is in their belief system that infidels must be destroyed or turned into second class citizens and pay a special tax.

And so, this idea of appeasement just doesn't work. Appeasing Islam is scary, just like you said. We currently live in a country that has religious freedoms, and I praise the Lord for it, but when an ideology wants to destroy us, you don't invite it in and support them in building mosques on every corner and training camps throughout the country!

Vic Batista: That is why I believe we need to educate ourselves on these type of events, because sometimes television and even our President says certain things about Islam being a peaceful religion. And yet, look at 9/11. There was nothing peaceful about that!

Nathan Jones: No, not at all. George W. Bush at that time came out saying that Islam is a religion of peace and that we don't need to deal with it directly, just terrorism. Then the Obama Administration came in and embraced Islam and gave power to known groups like CARN. They have ties to Islamic military and terrorist groups. This is scary stuff! In making these concessions, we as a nation are basically saying, "We give up! We surrender. Islam, we expect you to win, therefore we are going to step back."

When you study Bible prophecy, you realize that Islam will not win in the end. Due to the Gog & Magog invasion, it looks as though God will break the back of Islam before we get into the Tribulation time period. There will be a one-world religion in the start of the first half of the seven-year Tribulation, but Revelation reveals that Satan will overthrow that Harlot religion and he will demand all the world worship himself through the Antichrist. There cannot be Islam competing with the Antichrist religion.

We read in the Bible how the Antichrist will persecute both Christians, these new believers in Christ whom we call the Tribulation Saints, and the Jews. It doesn't say anything about him persecuting other religions. This Harlot religion of Revelation 17 is a brand new, one-world religion, because Islam is most likely destroyed before the Tribulation begins. If our politicians understood Bible prophecy, they would not be appeasing Islam, because Islam is on the losing side. It is not on the winning side.


In the second segment of our survey of the Psalm 83 War, Vic and I will look at the moral reversal going on in society.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why Homosexuality is a Unique Sin Today

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is a very important segment of Scripture — in fact, it is vitally important. The reason is that in these two verses, the Apostle Paul lists a series of sins which can disqualify a person from Heaven:

9) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
10) nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

All the sins listed in these two verses are still prevalent today, and have become even more so in recent years, but only one has been converted by society from a sin to a virtue, and that is homosexuality.


From Shame to Celebration

All the other sins listed — idolatry, adultery, fornication, thievery, greed, drunkenness, reviling and swindling are still frowned upon by society in general, but not homosexuality. It has been transformed from a perversion that was once considered to be illegal to an acceptable and even lauded form of behavior.

The turning point came in 1999 when President Bill Clinton decided to declare the month of June to be "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month." He repeated the proclamation in June of 2000. Nine years later, following the Bush Administration, President Barack Obama resumed the practice but expanded the scope of it by declaring the month to be "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month."

Gay Pride Month

And so, we have descended to the level of moral depravity where our nation is now celebrating sexual perversity! Like the nation of Judah in Old Testament times, we have "forgotten how to blush" (Jer. 6:15).


A Marker of Depravity

There is a second way in which homosexuality is a unique sin. The Bible identifies it as a way in which to gauge a society's descent into moral depravity.

It was the defining sin that motivated God to pour out His wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1-26). And in the book of Romans, Paul identifies it as the sign of a society begging for the wrath of God (Romans 1:18-27, particularly verses 26-27).

There is a myth in Christianity that keeps many people from realizing how terrible the sin of homosexuality is. That myth is the mistaken idea that "all sins are equal in the eyes of God." This concept is true in only one sense — all sins condemn us and require a Savior to reconcile us to God.

But there are definitely sins that God considers to be worse than others, and for that reason, the Bible teaches that there will be degrees of punishment in Hell (Luke 12:47-48). Sins that are singled out in the Bible as being particularly heinous in God's eyes are idolatry (Deuteronomy 4:25-31), blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31), pride (Proverbs 16:5) and unforgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15). Sexual immorality is another (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).


The Unscriptural Defense

The defenders of homosexuality and same-sex marriage contend that those involved "were born that way." And so, they argue, just as Black people have no control over how they are born, we have no more right to discriminate against homosexuals than we do Black people.

That argument sounds good on the surface, but it will not stand up to rigorous examination. First of all, it has never been proved that people are born as homosexuals. Second, there are many former homosexuals, whereas it is impossible to change one's race.

And most important of all, we need to keep in mind that all of us are born with a sin nature which expresses itself in various ways. In that regard, there are "natural born" thieves, adulterers, murderers, liars and gossips. Does that excuse their behavior? Of course not!

And if you are going to use the lame argument that a person is a "natural born" homosexual, then can't the same argument be used to excuse the behavior of a pedophile or a zoophile or any other sexual perversion?


Glorious News

The incredible good news is that sexual immorality of any kind, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual, can be overcome and forgiven through repentance and faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Consider this statement from the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:11, presented immediately after his listing of sins that will condemn us before God:

Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Praise God for his mercy! But do not think that you can mock God by continuing to willfully participate in these sins after you have placed your faith in Jesus (Hebrews 10:26-31).

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Free Exercise of Religion

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

The First Amendment to our Constitution is the bedrock of our freedoms. It reads as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances.


The Establishment of Religion Clause

We know for certain from the writings of the Founding Fathers that the first phrase of the amendment was intended only to prohibit the establishment of a state church, such as the Church of England. And that is the way in which the amendment was interpreted by our Supreme Court for more than a hundred years.

Constitution

It was not until the mid-Twentieth Century that the Court began to expand the meaning of the clause from separation of church and state to separation of religion and state, resulting in a considerable diminishment of religious freedom, like the prohibition of the Gideon's organization from distributing Bibles inside schools.


The Free Exercise Clause

The second clause in the First Amendment is now the center of controversy. It is usually referred to as "The Free Exercise Clause." It was designed to protect the right of people to practice their religion as they please.

Accordingly, it would seem reasonable that a conservative, Bible-believing Christian should be able to refuse to participate in any way in a same-sex marriage ceremony — whether as a photographer, baker or wedding planner. Yet, that is exactly what the Gay Mafia is condemning in our nation today.

(When I used the term, Gay Mafia, I am referring to radical homosexual activists who are determined to cram their sexual perversion down the throats of everyone, and who are particularly incensed toward Christians who believe the homosexual lifestyle is a sin against God.)


Difficult Issues

The issues raised by the Free Exercise Clause are not always easy ones. For example, we might all agree that a voodoo group should not be allowed to practice child sacrifice, but what about a Muslim woman who wants to work for the TSA, but who demands that she be allowed to wear a burka?

What about religious practices which have been outlawed in the past because they were unpalatable to the Christian majority in our nation? I have in mind such things as:

  • The handling of snakes in worship services by primitive Christian churches.
  • The practice of polygamy by Mormons and Muslims.
  • The rejection of blood transfusions for minor children by Jehovah's Witnesses.

Now that political power in our nation has shifted to the hands of those who despise conservative Christianity and religion in general, we are experiencing more and more challenges to the Free Exercise Clause with respect to all religions.


My Response to the Attacks on Christians

My response to the Gay Mafia is this: If Bible-believing Christians should be forced to provide their services for same-sex marriages, then:

  • Should a Jewish printer be forced to print anti-Semitic placards for a Skinhead organization?
  • Should a Muslim or Jewish catering service be forced to supply pork chops for a catered event?
  • Should businesses owned by Muslims, conservative Christians and Orthodox Jews be forced to supply abortion insurance for their employees?
  • Should adoption agencies of any religion be forced to provide their services to homosexual couples?
  • Should a Christian be forced to remove a cross lapel pin or necklace as a condition of employment?
  • Should an Orthodox Jewish man be forced to remove his yarmulke as a condition of employment?
  • Should a militant Atheist or devoted Humanist be forced to supply services to a Christian church?
  • Should a member of a homosexual church who is a baker be forced to prepare a cake that contains a scripture condemning homosexuality?


Drawing the Line

Where should the line be drawn? The Religious Freedom Act of 1993 was meant to protect the free exercise of religion. It was passed overwhelmingly by the Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton. Twenty states have since passed similar laws. Those laws are not meant to harm anyone. Rather, they are designed to protect religious people from discrimination and persecution.

The current assault on these laws is a manifestation of the rapidly increasing secularization and paganization of our society. Once these laws are repealed, the next step will be to demand that religious organizations like churches and ministries be restricted from abiding by their creedal statements, putting them in a position where they will be forced to hire homosexuals.

And then, of course, there are the unconstitutional "hate laws" which the Gay Mafia will insist be applied to beliefs and words instead of just actions. And if you think that is unthinkable, then think again. What if you had been told 20 years ago that within the next few years same-sex marriage would be approved by states and would even be endorsed by churches — would you have believed it? Our society is on a fast train to Sodom.


Accommodating Sin

What is particularly appalling to me is the way in which several liberal denominations have rushed to accommodate the demands of a pagan society to ordain homosexuals and to approve same-sex marriage. Do the leaders of these churches really believe that God is going to bless what He has condemned?

Even a so-called Evangelical like Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, has stated that he sees nothing wrong with forcing Christian businesses to assist with same-sex marriages! His justification for this radical stand? "Serving people we don't see eye to eye with is the essence of Christianity."

Well, first of all, that is not the essence of Christianity. The essence of the Christian faith is to develop a personal relationship with Jesus. And second, it is not the responsibility of Christians to aid and abet others to sin against God and His Word.


A Challenge

The time is long overdue for Christians to stand up and be counted. When the Supreme Court ruled in 1980 that the Ten Commandments could not be displayed on the walls of our schools, Christians quietly acquiesced. When the Communist Party of Poland ruled in 1984 that all crucifixes had to be removed from the walls of Polish schools, the Catholic leaders and children of Poland went to the streets and said, "Over our dead bodies!" The Polish government backed off.

Will Christians take a stand in this country, or will we allow the Pagans and Humanists to run over us?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Scouting Organizations Cave-in to the Culture

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

In May the head of the Boy Scouts of America, Robert Gates, our nation's former Secretary of Defense, announced that he is in favor of the organization allowing homosexuals to serve as Scout leaders. His group had already dropped its ban in 2013 on homosexual boys becoming Scouts.

Not to be outdone, the Girl Scouts of America immediately announced that they are allowing transgender boys to join their organization. Actually, the GSA's drift from its founding Christian principles has been much more thorough, beginning with its decision in 1995 to allow Girl Scouts to substitute words for God in the Girl Scout Oath. Alternatives include Allah, my Creator, the Force — or whatever.

The Boy Scout Oath includes the following words: "On my honor I will do my best... to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." How can an organization have a pledge to be "morally straight" when it endorses a sexual perversion that is condemned by God in His Word?

When homosexuals decided they wanted scouting organizations that affirmed their lifestyle, why didn't they form their own organizations for boys and girls? Why did they decide to bring harassing law suits to try to force existing scouting groups to give in to their ungodly demands? The reason is simple: they wish to erase the Christian foundation of all such private organizations. What they are doing with Scouting is just a part of their overall assault on the Christian heritage of our nation.

I went all the way through Scouting, from a Cub Scout to a regular Scout to an Explorer Scout — and I was greatly blessed as Scouting reinforced the Christian principles taught to me by my parents and my church. It breaks my heart to see Scouting be destroyed as a positive moral force in our society.

I am literally appalled by the BSA's consideration of allowing homosexuals to serve as Scout leaders. Talk about letting the foxes in the hen house!

I know the danger first hand. In 1953 while I was en route to the Boy Scout Third National Jamboree in California, a homosexual Scout leader from Ft. Hood, Texas attempted to molest me. Court proceedings in recent years have revealed that the BSA has covered up many such molestations for years. I can only hope that if the BSA adopts Bill Gates' recommendation, the organization will be covered up with law suits by the parents of young men who end up being molested.

One good thing is that there are moral alternatives in Trail Life USA for boys and American Heritage Girls for young women. There are also a number of groups that are affiliated with Christian denominations, like the Royal Ambassadors of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Royal Rangers of the Assemblies of God.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Franklin Graham's Sister Issues A Prophetic Warning

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

Franklin Graham has one brother, Ned, and three sisters — Gigi, Anne and Ruth. The best known of his siblings is Anne Graham Lotz, who is widely recognized as an outstanding Bible teacher. She has a ministry called AnGeL Ministries which is located in Raleigh, North Carolina (annegrahamlotz.org).

Anne Graham Lotz

In May of this year, Anne wrote on her website that she believes Jesus is going to return soon "to take all of His followers to Heaven with Him in what is referred to as the Rapture." She warned that for those unbelievers who are left behind, "God's judgment is coming and it's going to be ugly." She further wrote:

While this [the Rapture] will be deliverance for His people, can you imagine the impact on our nation, let alone the world, when suddenly every single authentic Christian disappears?
Institutions will collapse. Banks will close. The Stock Market will plunge. Planes will fall out of the sky. Cars will crash on the road. Government in America at every level will disintegrate. Families will be torn apart. In the unprecedented turmoil, our nation will be vulnerable for our enemies to seize the moment and attack us. There will be mass chaos, confusion, fear, grief, despair, anger, threats, danger... judgment.

Anne pointed out that God's judgment leading up to the calamities caused by the Rapture would probably not come in the form of a nuclear strike or an ISIS terror attack. Rather, it is most likely to be like the judgment of God described in Romans 1 where it speaks of God backing away and lowering His hedge of protection and allowing evil to multiply.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Do Christians, Muslims and Jews Worship the Same God?

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

Let's just get down to the bottom line right here at the start. The answer is, "Absolutely not!"

Increasingly, in the name of tolerance, I am hearing people, even Christian pastors, say, "All three of the world's great religions are monotheistic. And since they all believe there is only one God, then they must all worship the same God." It sounds so logical, but it is completely untrue.

Religious Symbols


The God of Islam

Take Islam, for example. The god of Islam, named Allah, is an aloof, impersonal and arbitrary god who is never once referred to in the Quran as a god of love. The Christian God, Yahweh (Exodus 3:14-15), as revealed in the Bible, is a caring and personal God (1 Peter 5:6-7) who never changes (Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8). He is also revealed to be a triune God — that is, one God in three persons (Matthew 28:19). He is also constantly portrayed as a God of love (1 John 4:7-21).

Further, Christians believe that Yahweh manifested Himself in the flesh in Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:1-14), and therefore Christians worship Jesus as God (Matthew 28:19, John 20:28 and Philippians 2:5-11). Muslims argue instead that Jesus was just a prophet of lesser stature than Mohammed. And, in fact, they even deny that Jesus died on the cross or was resurrected. They contend that an imposter died in Jesus' place and there was never any resurrection.

The Quran specifically denies that Jesus was the Son of God (Sura 112:1-4). Likewise, the Quran denies the triune nature of God (Sura 4:171).

Quran Billboard

So, how can it be said in truth that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, when Christians worship Jesus as God, whereas Muslims deny the deity of Jesus? There's just no way to reconcile these diametrically opposing viewpoints.


The God of Judaism

What is particularly baffling to me is the number of Christians — even Evangelicals — who often assert that "Christians and Jews worship the same God."

It is true that we Christians worship the God revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures. But the Jews do not worship that God because they deny that He was ever manifested in human form, as their own Scriptures prophesied that He would be (Isaiah 9:6-7 and Micah 5:1-2).

The reality is that Christians worship Jesus as God, whereas Jews dismiss Jesus either as a deranged human being or — at best — a misguided prophet who was self-deceived into believing He was the Messiah.

On the Jewish website called "Judaism 101," you will find the following comment about Jesus:

Jesus is simply not a part of Judaism. He is irrelevant to our religion. To ask a Jew, "why don't you believe in Jesus?" is like asking a Christian, "why don't you believe in Zeus?"

How then can it be said that "Christians and Jews worship the same God"? They simply do not.


A Future Time of Unity

But one day the Jewish people will begin to worship the one and only true God. The Scriptures clearly teach that in the end times a great remnant of the Jews will accept Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah. This will happen at the end of the Tribulation after two-thirds of the Jews have been killed by the Antichrist, and the remainder come to the end of themselves and receive Jesus (Zechariah 12:10, Matthew 23:27-39, Romans 9:27 and Romans 11:25-26).

The Scriptures also indicate that many Muslims will turn their hearts to Isa (their name for Jesus) and will receive Him as their Savior. In fact, the prophecies picture Jews and Muslims living together in peace as common believers in Jesus as their Savior, with their nations being connected by a great highway (Isaiah 19:19-25).

It is a tragedy to believe that Christians, Muslims and Jews all worship the same God and that therefore Muslims and Jews can be saved apart from faith in Jesus as the Bible's promised Messiah. Such a misguided belief results in loving Muslims and Jews into Hell.